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Conference Commissioners Discuss Orlando, Collegiate Athletics at Speaker Series

Three of the biggest names in college football visited Orlando on Tuesday, Aug. 29 for the FCSports Speaker Series. ACC Commissioner John Swofford, Big Ten Commissioner Jim Delany and SEC Commissioner Mike Slive participated in the biggest event in Speaker Series history, appearing together at the Embassy Suites Hotel Downtown Orlando for a discussion on Orlando, the bowl system and all of college athletics.

The discussion, moderated by Sun Sports/FSN Florida’s Paul Kennedy, began with a discussion on Orlando’s future and the Florida Citrus Bowl Stadium renovation proposed by FCSports.

“I was really struck by…how intent bowls are to elevate their status, to be the Capital One Bowl,” said Slive. “To remain competitive, it is critically important that the stadium be renovated and kept up to the kinds of standards that, I think, are reflected around the country.”

All three men, however, professed their admiration for Orlando as a bowl destination and how much they value the partnership with Orlando and FCSports.

“This is and has been a destination city,” said Delany. “We’ve got a lot of Big Ten alums in the area, but we also like to come to visit. We like to play great opponents, and we like to play great opponents in great venues.”

Other topics covered during the presentation included amateurism in college athletics, the upcoming Big Ten Channel and similar projects in the SEC & ACC, and the impact of conference expansion.

The FCSports Speaker Series continues to bring prominent sports figures to the Central Florida community. The 2005-06 Series included Florida head coach Urban Meyer, Auburn head coach Tommy Tuberville, former Wisconsin coach Barry Alvarez and ESPN analyst Lou Holtz. In June of this year, Michigan head coach Lloyd Carr opened the 2006-07 season.